The flurry of excited “Yes I used my laptop for council business and so much more” messages like these has been encouraging. It reminded me that I also need to encourage laptop use in all of my classes for many of the same reasons – especially Saturday/Sunday classes. We’ve seen an increase in student laptop use in our program. This weekend in LIS768, I had 5 Macs and at least that many PCs that students brought in to class. We actually ran out of outlets in the room! Using the tools of the trade if you will – for access to our WordPress MU site, for access to Twitter, which the class LOVED and for access to any number of links I shared during my lectures – not only grants access but gets students ready for their work. I’ve long advocated for libraries to give their librarians a laptop as standard issue.
Chatting with Gina while I prepped this post made this even more clear. “If we stand by the idea that these are just tools and some tools make some tasks more efficient, then it would behoove us all to at least learn about the tools available to us.”
But what if someone found a brief distraction while at that meeting or in the classroom? Oh My!
In my mind, the benefits of students being able to take notes and explore during class and to be connected to the Web and the World certainly far exceed the chance they might peek at the score of the big game or check the Facebook! (Heck, I did the same thing this weekend too!) I don’t give exams, but if I did, I’d probably still encourage the use of various technologies. It’s so ingrained in our work in libraries, my students should have as much access as possible.